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Wednesday, 3 May, 2000, 12:58 GMT 13:58 UK
Mozambique plans recovery
People carry bags through the flood waters
Rebuilding transport links will be a priority
By Frances Kennedy in Rome

The government of Mozambique, representatives of neighbouring African countries, donor nations and aid groups are meeting in Rome on Wednesday to consider the country's needs after the recent devastating floods.

Mozambique is expected to ask the international community for $450m to help rebuild its economy and infrastructure and boost vital sectors, such as agriculture, health and education.

The two-day international reconstruction conference is a chance for the Mozambique Government to outline its priorities in recovering from the floods and to press wealthy nations to follow through on emergency aid with more long-term assistance.

Mozambique was considered one of Africa's economic success stories before the floods in February and March.

The United Nations estimates 650 people died, more than 500,000 were left homeless, and 2m people suffered severe economic hardship.

Transport links

A series of workshops will examine strategies in resettlement transport, agriculture and health.

One of the biggest challenges will be rebuilding roads, bridges and transport links - that alone is expected to cost $120m.

The conference will also examine ways to make Mozambique less vulnerable to natural disasters.

The event is being co-hosted by the UN development programme, which says it is vital to keep international attention focused on Mozambique now that the flood waters have receded.

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03 May 00 | Africa
Mozambique picks up the pieces
28 Feb 00 | Africa
Long task ahead for aid workers
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